Stories & Secrets of America’s Favorite Soft Drinks

1More American Than Apple Pie?

Americans consume over 44.7 gallons of carbonated soft drinks a year. That’s twice the amount of milk consumed and four times the amount of tea. It’s safe to say that soft drinks are a firm (but far from healthy) part of our beverage culture.

Since the mid-1800s, when carbonated lemonade was sold as a novelty at fairs and British soldiers began adding sugar to their bitter-tasting quinine tonic water, manufacturers have churned out soda gimmicks by the trainload. Some worked, most didn’t. Here’s a few historical tidbits about the soft drinks that lasted.

(And yes, Coca-Cola used to contain cocaine, but that’s been shared to tatters)